techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com August 21, 2017


Markets Right Now: Stocks open lower

13 August 2017, 11:10 | Glen Norman

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Travel and media companies led USA stocks lower in afternoon trading Wednesday as some rare earnings disappointments weighed on the market.

US stocks clawed back losses late on Wednesday as investors appeared to brush off geopolitical concerns after falling in the wake of President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" warning to North Korea.

Prices for bonds and gold headed higher.

Japan said on Tuesday it was possible that North Korea had already developed nuclear warheads and warned of an acute threat posed by its weapons programs as Pyongyang's continues missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

US President Donald Trump's emotive suggestion about a large scale military response to North Korean threats rattled markets, also dragging the FTSE down 0.8% on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 lost 5.99 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 2,474.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.31 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,370.46. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 204.69 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,844.01.

Biotechnology stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading, resulting in a 1.6 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

The recovery fit a recent pattern of investors using dips to put more money in stocks.

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Benchmark U.S. crude fell 97 cents USA, or 2%, to US$48.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Amid the hot rhetoric, US stocks sold off sharply on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1 percent.

A statement attributed to North Korea's head of strategic forces, General Kim Rak Gyom, said the plan for the strike would be ready by the middle of the month and would await orders from leader Kim Jong-un.

"What has changed this time is that the scary threats and war of words between the USA and North Korea have intensified to the point that markets can't ignore it", said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney.

Investors have been jittery about North Korea since Tuesday when Trump said any threats from Pyongyang would be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Still, there were fewer signs of anxiousness in the markets Friday.

Mounting tensions between the United States and North Korea battered blue-chip stocks on Wednesday, knocking the London market's attempts of securing a record high. It's still the highest it's been since May.

The dollar was further weighed Friday by the soft USA inflation data. The Korea tensions though have seen both US and European markets this week push back expectations of when the Fed and ECB might hike interest rates. Viacom slid 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.84.

Seagate Technology gained 2.3 percent after investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company.

Simmering North Korea tensions knock back Wall Street
Shares of Macy's tumbled 10.2% and Kohl's was down 6% as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales. Trump's comments on Tuesday ended the Dow's nine-day streak of record closes.

Traders sold off financial stocks amid speculation that the Fed will decide to hold off on raising interest rates next month. The stock shed $1.50 to $4.61.

MEDIA MALAISE: Shares in several other big media companies were down. The stock lost $4.08 to $102.90.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer discretionary index's 0.59 percent fall leading the decliners.

And in bond markets, 10-year U.S. Treasuries and Germany's ultra-safe government bonds, known as Bunds, were trading at their highest prices since June.

US crude was down 0.9 percent at $48.16 per barrel, on track for a weekly loss of 2.9 percent. Natural gas was also flat at $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The December gold contract was up US$12.40 to US$1,285.40 an ounce. Copper rose 1 cent to $2.91 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.87 yen from 110.48 yen late Tuesday.

On the currency markets, the pound was marginally higher against the USA dollar at 1.30 and up 0.1% versus the euro at 1.11.

Markets were also lower in Europe and Asia. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended down 1pc at 376.05, after touching 375.42, its lowest level since March 28 as basic resources and banks fell. Japan was closed on a public holiday.

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